Aneesa Heatherington/UBC Thunderbirds
VANCOUVER - In her final year with UBC, Danielle Brisebois was awarded the Rick Hansen Difference Maker Scholarship during the Thunderbirds' 3-0 (25-17, 25-19, 25-17) shutout of the Mt. Royal Cougars.
Brisebois was recognized for outstanding contributions to her community.
"It means so much – especially in my last year. Rick is such an inspirational person and has done so much for our program so to be recognized by him means a lot. I'm hoping to be involved again with the national team this summer and my plan is to play professionally in Europe next year."
UBC alumnus Rick Hansen was proud to acknowledge the veteran student-athlete for her efforts.
"UBC had a big impact on my life, and volleyball has been a huge part of my entire family's life, so we want to give back. To create the difference maker award and be able to contribute to people who are not only here for their athletic ability or their academic ability, but those who care about community and step up to pay it forward. Danielle Brisebois is incredible. I've watched her through her entire career…she's positive and she's hardworking. What an incredible recipient, I couldn't think of a better person to receive the award."
On a night where the team's depth was on full display, Danielle Brisebois earned five kills with five aces and led UBC with seven digs in the win. Maggie Li had a team-high seven kills and added three aces, while Juliana Kaufmanis and Victoria Behie each notched five kills.
The Cougars were lead by the Julia Kryzan on offence, with six kills and Maddi Quinn on defence, with 12 digs.
A Behie tip over the unsuspecting block put the 'Birds up 14-9 in the first set and Behie added a block to give her side a 18-11 lead. Laura MacTaggart's serve on set point was too much to handle for the Cougars as the Thunderbirds took the first 25-17.
UBC went on a 5-0 run to start the second and a Kaufmanis ace stretched the lead to 21-11. Laura Worsley set up Behie for another kill to put the set away 25-19.
Mt. Royal had a jump on the T-Birds in the third set, leading 8-3 early on after capitalizing on some UBC errors and being lead by the inspired play of Nicky Zalasky. But UBC went on a tear, capped off by a Ciara Hanly kill to knot it up at 8-8. The two sides were tied at 14-14 before the Thunderbirds took control and coasted to a 25-17 victory for the match.
Both teams will be in Calgary next weekend. The 'Birds will look to extend their eight-game winning streak against the 13-3 Dinos on Friday and Saturday.
MRU, 5-9 in Canada West league play, will enjoy home-court advantage against MacEwan (4-12) next weekend.
IMAGE CREDIT: Rich Lam/UBC Thunderbirds